Dreamstone: History, Purpose, Aims...

Page Contents click on link to go to that section:

1) A Brief History of Dreamstone
2) What Is Dreamstone..?
3) The Sculptural Work of Giles Wright and the provision of facilities
4) Training and Therapy
5) Public Work, Bronzes and the hospital link
6) A Personal Explanation: the BIG Idea - Why Now..?
7) A Short Progress Report

A Brief History of Dreamstone:
I am Giles Wright and Dreamstone is my creation. In late 1998 after several years of mental illness myself, I teamed up with MIND in Brighton to make an application to the UK Millenium Fund. MIND is a charity that works in the field of mental health. The purpose of the grant was to set up "Dreamstone". I am indebted to the team who helped me. It was not easy, but we eventually succeeded and received a substantial grant...

The work site was established in 2000 with the help of the Millenium Fund grant. It is in an agricultural area towards the back end of Stanmer Park, Brighton. Dreamstone was able to use this land as a member of Stanmer Organics Ltd who have secured the area for a 'peppercorn rent' from Brighton Council. This was achieved by use of European statutes - Stanmer Organics Ltd. is Brighton's flagship 'Local Agenda 21' project. The attractions of this site include; the natural surroundings, the fresh air, the like-minded company from time to time and the low cost. The obvious detraction is the fact of being outside means that work is governed by the elements. None the less it is a wonderful place to spend my time...

Since creation Dreamstone has also been grateful to receive a large grant from the Arts Council of England. The purpose of the grant was to fully equip and enable Dreamstone to undertake the Therapeutic Stone Sculpting Classes that were part of the original vision.

Dreamstone is an organisation and this website is an integral part of that organisation. This website was first built in 1999 by myself, Giles Wright.

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What Is Dreamstone..?
Dreamstone is a collection of projects, facilities, and artists. Dreamstone is also a web portal providing innovative content in the sculptural field with an insight on the creation process that has not been available before - see Creation and Current Work pages. Giles Wright is the principle sculptor who works with other artists and groups such as MIND, to deliver projects that have so far focused on mental health and disadvantaged, black and ethnic minority groups. Dreamstone is about enabling Giles Wright and other artists to work in stone and promoting the resulting work. Dreamstone is there to provide the tools, workspace and inspiration. Dreamstone also aims to provide the stone for its classes.

Dreamstone is also about using good art to promote good ideas/good practice on issues ranging from mental health to the environment and wildlife, to children, AIDS and poverty (see Dreamstone and Charity).

Finally Dreamstone, as the name implies, is there to encourage all artists involved, whatever their chosen discipline, to raise their expectations of what is possible - veritably to dream and to make dreams a reality!

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The Sculptural Work of Giles Wright and the provision of facilities:-
Giles has chosen to work on a large scale, a by-product of which is ample space to host visiting sculptors or to run therapeutic stone sculpting classes. As well as providing stone for Giles's work, Dreamstone has imported stone from Africa and collected local stones for others to carve in classes provided by Dreamstone. Dreamstone has enabled several foreign artists to work in the UK - as in the case of Elvis Mamvura from Zimbabwe. Dreamstone has a purpose built workspace for the provision of classes and a large array of hand tools for people to use. Giles hopes his work will eventually be bought by a private collector.

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Training and Therapy
As anyone reading this site will be aware by now I have had problems with mental ill health. A long time ago the doctors classified my sculpting work as 'therapy'. It was really a small step to put that together and say that if it is therapy for me - why not for others as well... My path crossed with MIND (mental health charity) in 1998 after I had been unwell for some time. Add to the doctors comments my experience at Brighton Marina, where I had a succession of mental health patients finding themselves comforted by my work (read more on the Classes page) and it was not long before the idea of Dreamstone was born.

Today Dreamstone has 13 purpose built benches; 4 under static cover - the rest under removeable cover. Dreamstone also has tools for up to 12 people to work at the same time. Dreamstone is currently negotiating to retain its premises and facilities. To date Dreamstone has run two sets of stone sculpting classes both as therapy for mental health patients and as fun for a local childrens play group.

Note: Dreamstone has not tried to run commercial classes for the general public for a variety of reasons. That said Giles is open to suggestions and prepared to consider classes for private individuals or groups on application - if interested contact Giles here

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Public Work, Bronzes and the Hospital Link:-
From its inception Dreamstone has provided work to public space that would otherwise have been a desert. Principly this has involved Mill View Hospital, Hove. To start with two sculptures were provided. Then in 2005 another two, very large sculpture were loaned as well. To see the Mill View Hospital Exhibition story click here

Quote: Many ordinary people don’t visit galleries – so my work would sit there, benefiting no one and gathering dust...

What good is that..?!!

Mill View Hospital has a minimal level of security which makes displaying my stone originals there possible and relatively safe from harm. However in normal public space, Bronze is my medium of choice for its strength and durability. Once rendered in Bronze my work is virtually vandal proof and as a bonus comes in a variety of different colours and finishes!

I was told how to calculate the commercial price of a Bronze by my mentor, John Skelton. I am well aware, however, that at this end of my career I may find it hard to command such prices. It also strikes me that a Bronze in a public space is a most splendid advertisement for the stone original that I possess. Truely it is my stone originals that I need to sell and a well placed Bronze could lead to a valuable introduction. The small amounts I may profit from Bronzes now will simply be plowed back into making more stone originals.

So I am prepared to barter with Bronzes of my work going to public space. In real terms that means savings of up to 70% based on realistic commercial prices!

STOP THE PRESS - To get the ball rolling Dreamstone has offered the City of Brighton & Hove a Bronze of 'Love' at cost price for the seafront or one of the parks. We are looking for sponsors for this venture...
To read more about this offer click here

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A Personal Explanation: the BIG Idea - Why Now..?
I have already partially explained this, but I can offer more. I have been working a long time now in relative seclusion. I have also been able, with some luck, to do all this on sponsorship so far. However as time goes on it is becoming increasingly hard to gain the sponsorship necessary to run projects like the therapeutic stone sculpting classes or funding foreign artists to bring and share their skills and stone here. As to funding my own work - I am really strapped.

To put this in perspective: I need just £8500 to deliver a set of therapeutic stone sculpting classes that would benefit 12 people directly and many more indirectly with the subsequent exhibition. There is a queue of people that want to take part because we know it works... Sadly last year I could not find the funding for this project - I don't want to be so frustrated this year.

And that is really the reason - I am frustrated. I have some wonderful ideas for sculpture, but I need funding if I am to make them or any other projects happen. I want to push the envelope but my current circumstances are really starting to impede my development as an artist. I want the freedom to help others with my craft and to do the best work I am capable of doing.

Galleries and their commissions are a fact in my profession, so by working with charity and giving them the commission instead, I don't see that I am really loosing anything. The galleries commissions have always seemed like a weakness to me - I think I may have found a way to turn that weakness into a strength. The 'money world' is scarey, but stagnating and loosing the opportunity to sculpt scares me even more...

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August 2000 - Two large stone sculpture, 'Respect' and 'Evolution..?' have been placed at Millview Hospital. To see the Mill View Hospital Exhibition story click here

Took delivery of five large limestones from Portland late in the year 2000.

2001 Started working on the largest block first --> 'Ear-Shell-Blows' begins Creation

April 2003 Put up foreign artist Elvis Mamvura from Zimbabwe. Started planning Stone Sculpting Workshops.

Summer 2004 Stone Sculpting Workshops held for Mental Health Service Users and disadvantaged people from Black and Ethnic Minorities. Made possible by a grant from The Arts Council of England.

Autumn 2005 Two more large stone sculpture, 'Love' and 'Ear-Shell-Blows' placed at Millview Hospital. To see the Mill View Hospital Exhibition story click here

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